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Denver Pale Ale

Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
37 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Crafted in the English pale ale style, Denver Pale Ale abounds with earthy, lightly grassy hop notes and sweet fruity esters. Also identified by the letters DPA writ large on the label, this brew is one of the rock solid beers Great Divide has been knocking out for the past 20 years. Gobs of tropical fruit dominate the aroma, with notes of pineapple guava and overripe mangos skipping over the top of a crackery, biscuit-like malt base. The nose’s fruity sweetness struck Pete as “too overripe, just bordering on cloying.” He likened it to “syrupy fruit salad,” but found some grainy and caramel malt notes. Showing just the merest trace of chill haze, this deep yellow brew falls just shy of golden and is topped by a small, ivory-colored foam collar. The aroma’s intense fruitiness doesn’t appear in the flavor, allowing the crisp, saltine cracker and sugary caramel notes to shine through. Noting “a pronounced bitter, almost astringent edge,” Tom found the flavors a tad out of balance, though he did pull out some “warm cookie dough and fresh hearth bread” malt flavors from under the hops. Tim, however, pushed past the overt bitterness to find “a swirl of fruity plums, apricots, and cherries,” all backed by lightly toasted malt. Complex and highly drinkable, DPA is an ideal “go to” beer for the picnic or barbecue.